The End of the Wicked (Psalm 9)


Psalm 9:1–10, 15–20 (NIV)

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
    I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

My enemies turn back;
    they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
    sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
    you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
    you have uprooted their cities;
    even the memory of them has perished.

The Lord reigns forever;
    he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
    and judges the peoples with equity.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
    a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust in you,
    for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
    their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
16 The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
    the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
    all the nations that forget God.
18 But God will never forget the needy;
    the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

19 Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
    let the nations be judged in your presence.
20 Strike them with terror, Lord;
    let the nations know they are only mortal.



Today’s post is from A Meditative Journey Through the Psalms by Timothy and Julie Tennent. He serves as the president of Asbury Theological Seminary among other posts he holds across the global church. She is a gifted musician and was one of the driving forces that helped bring to fruition the Seedbed hymnal, Our Great Redeemer’s Praise. We will share some of their writing on the Psalms on Sundays.

Psalm 9 is the first acrostic psalm found in the Psalter. An acrostic is a poetical form used to help people, especially the young, to remember God’s Word. Each verse (or phrase, or couplet) of the psalm begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. If it were in English, it would be like having verse 1 begin with A, verse 2 begin with B, verse 3 begin with C, and so on. There are eight of these in the Psalms (Psalms 9/10 [first half of alphabet in Psalm 9, and second half in Psalm 10], 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, and 145). Since acrostics were used in the spiritual training of children, it is worth noting that a survey of all eight of these acrostics reveals foundational themes that Jewish families believed were essential in the proper training of children:

  1. The importance of trusting God, despite all outward circumstances
  2. The importance of learning to love God’s Word and his law
  3. The importance of recognizing the two paths—the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked
  4. Learning the character and nature of God

Psalm 9 brings out two of these themes by calling us to trust in God despite our outward circumstances, remembering the final verdict on the wicked and the final vindication of the righteous. The psalm declares that God alone is the righteous King who “reigns forever” and who “has established his throne for judgment” (v. 7). He is the refuge for the oppressed, and he will protect us and lift us up even “from the gates of death” (v. 13). This psalm shows the final end of the way of the wicked. They will be rebuked on judgment day, their names will be blotted out, and all memory of them will perish. The nations who have put them-selves in the place of God will be struck with terror, and they will finally “know they are but men” (v. 20). Paradoxically, asking God to “strike them with terror” (v. 20) in the lives of his enemies is in harmony with Jesus’ admonition to “pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). It is like praying for a divine intervention that, though painful, has a redemptive goal. It is only when we are confronted (even forcibly and dramatically) with our sins, and only when we have that deep realization that we are living in opposition to God, that we will ever turn to him to receive the grace and mercy so freely offered through Jesus Christ.

For the Awakening,
Timothy and Julie Tennent


Sing Psalm 9 with the Seedbed Psalter today! Visit the free resource here or purchase the book A Metrical Psalter: The Book of Psalms Set to Meter for Singing here.

1 I’ll praise You, Lord, give thanks with all my heart;
Tell of Your wonders, and exult in Thee.
2 I will be glad, praise to Your name impart;
O, Lord Most High, I sing and worship Thee.

3 My foes turn back, they stumble before Thee;
4 For You do see and maintain my just cause.
You sit on high, and judging righteously,
5 You rebuke nations who do spurn Your laws.

You have destroyed the wicked enemy;
You blotted out their name forevermore,
6 Uprooted all their cities thoroughly.
Ruin has come—their mem’ry is no more.

7 But the Lord reigns enthroned in justice pure;
8 He judges all the world in righteousness.
His upright judgment is established sure;
He judges people with true uprightness.

9 The Lord’s a refuge for oppressed ones, too;
He is their stronghold in their time of need.
10 Let those who know Your name put trust in You;
You don’t forsake those who seek You indeed.

11 Sing to the Lord, enthroned in Zion’s place;
Declare among the peoples all His deeds.
12 He who avenges blood still sees their face;
Cries of afflicted ones the Lord God heeds.

13 Lord, see my enemies, and don’t forget;
See my affliction from the ones who hate.
Have mercy—lift me from the gates of death,
14 That I may tell Your praise in Zion’s gate.

I’ll find joy in Your saving work alone;
15 The nations sink into the pit they’ve made.
The Lord has made Himself be clearly known;
Their foot is caught within the net they laid.

16 The Lord is known by justice that stands firm;
In their own work the wicked are ensnared.Selah
17 All who forget God to She-ol return;
18 But poor and needy will not perish there.

19 Arise, O Lord, don’t let mere man prevail.
Let nations come, be judged before Your throne.
20 Strike them with fear, Lord—let the nations know
they are but men, and You are God alone.     Selah

P. S. Get the Resources

If you would like to have the meditations and the metrical psalter in a beautiful two-volume set—which I highly recommend— you can order those through the Seedbed store. 

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Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. Let God arise and rescue you from your inner enemies!

    Difficulties can bring hope instead of despair. The hope of the afflicted is to look to the Lord as their refuge. When people can see no human way out of a difficult situation, they either give up and self-destruct, or they begin look intently to God for deliverance. Hurting people who wholeheartedly seek the Lord as their refuge and stronghold are never left in the hopelessness of despair. The Lord sees their affliction and rescues them.

    People who God has supernaturally delivered from the angst of affliction, bondage to tormenting thoughts, and enslavement to sin, have personally experienced the risen Jesus as so real and so present that gratitude constantly overflows from their heart. They tell the wonderful things Christ has done and is doing in and through them. They tell how He has overthrown their inner enemies and even erased the memory of their torment. Never-ending gladness runs through their heart like inner rivers, and they sing out praises to His name.

    Let hope always abide.
    Never allow anything
    To override
    Christ in you
    The hope of glory.
    Abound in hope.
    Rejoice in hope.
    Overflow with hope
    And tell Christ’s story
    By the power
    Of God’s Spirit

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